Tom Van Eynde: Thebes Photographic Project

Sheikh Abd el-Qurna district, Western Thebes. Hamdy's alabaster shop at Qurnet Mura`i. The villagers of the Qurna district have built their homes in and among the rock-cut tombs of the Theban necropolis for almost six hundred years. In the last seventy-five years, the district has become a thriving international tourist attraction, and most modern local residents have adapted by developing industries and activities to exploit the tourism. A plethora of so-called alabaster shops has opened to sell goods made of calcite ("Egyptian alabaster"). Many of these shops and houses of Qurna are garishly decorated with traditional Islamic hajj-paintings (depicting the pilgrimage to Mecca) and/or motives adopted from pharaonic tomb paintings. (Caption - Peter Piccione)

All the photographs were made with a Fujica G617 Panorama Camera. The film is TriX. The prints are made on llford Mulitgrade Fiber base paper, toned with Kodak Rapid Selenium toner. The original prints are 7"x22" on 10"x24" paper.